THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON THREE...
Revisit Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his ragtag group of misfits as they move into an "abandoned" penitentiary and are faced with the biggest threat so far- the Governor (David Morrissey), a charismatic leader of a "safe zone" who is essentially pretty evil.
I'll let you know right away that I'm no longer a comic comparer when it comes to this wonderful show.I
really loved the comic, but in truth it's been years since I read it.
This basically means I'm not one of those nitpickers who notices every
minor detail and liberty that the show might take. So, if you're
looking for the hardcore fan's perspective you can look elsewhere. With
that said, I'm certainly informed, and have been watching the show
since its inception (I even reviewed the first season here
so let's get going.
First of all, right out of the gate, I have to say that I enjoyed this
season a lot, and it may arguably have been my favorite one so far.
This seasons features the threat of the Governor, that jerk who is
essentially the ruler of Woodbury, a small town that's been fortified
to keep out the dead. Where last season tended to keep a bit of a
slower, repetitive and familiar pace (for the most part), this season
kicks things into high gear fairly early on and does not (I repeat,
does NOT) skimp on action.
The first few episodes of this season feature some major action scenes
where the crew is forced to fight off the zombie horde and these are
really quite tense. I've said before that there were times when I found
TWD a bit dull in terms of pace, but this season seems to have heard
that complaint ring true a few times- there's buckets of blood with all
kinds of killer gore and effects. Really R-rated, nasty stuff. If you
were looking for more visceral nastiness, look no further. This season
will satisfy you. I truly believe that the zombie killin' action
featured in this season is the best stuff yet.
Of course, there's so much more to TWD than just the zombie splatter.
This season has quite a few stories it weaves. Without being too
spoiler-iffic, let's just say that a traumatic event has got Rick going
out of his mind. HIs leadership certainly comes into question here, and
the guy spends many moments in this season being portrayed as a flawed,
shattered individual on the edge of insanity. I know that a lot of
people didn't like Rick's issues, as they tend to push the boundaries
of believability, but I was okay with it for the most part.
Arguably the biggest storyline this season involves Andrea (Laurie
Holden), who found herself all alone when she was separated from the
group during season 2- until Michonne (Danai Gurira) scooped her up and
the ladies found refuge in solar-powered Woodbury. Of course, Michonne
is skeptical about Woodbury and the Governor's motives, while Andrea
winds up tangled up in the Governor's heartstrings. This makes for some
pretty compelling drama, wondering who Andrea will wind up siding with,
and what actions she'll take.
Now to be fair, sometimes the writing this season wound up feeling a
bit..broad, to the point where the show stops being an involved and
gripping drama, and instead feels more like the source material, which
is to say, more like a comic book. This is perfectly fine, if you don't
mind a bit of silliness that you're expected to swallow. Sometimes, the
Governor tends to be a bit less than three dimensional. He really sort
of turns into a mustache-twirling villain at times, which makes him a
tad goofy. Combat can be a bit questionable too, as it seems zombies
can just show up when it's convenient, and just out of nowhere. I won't
mention how skilled the characters tend to be at shooting zombie heads,
and how terrible they are with attacking humans.
Pacing can be a bit off from time to time as well, with the first 3 or
4 episodes blazing by at a good pace, then going a bit touch and go
style afterwards. The finale was a bit of an admitted letdown as well,
after the build that led to it. Small things to complain about.
I don't want to go on and spoil the whole season for you, but know that
this season of the Walking Dead is for the most part, a home run. They
get a lot of stuff right. You'll love watching Darryl (Norman Reedus),
and you'll certainly find out what happened to his brother Merle
(Michael Rooker). You'll likely curse Andrea (that's all I'm going to
say, I don't want to give anything away), and you'll wonder where
Michonne's allegiances lie.
Of this 16 episode season, I thought that there were some excellent
standouts: Seed, Walk With Me, The
Suicide King, Made to Suffer
and I Ain't a Judas
. Again- though some
people may be really divided, I thought this season certainly
delivered. It's easy to nitpick, but to think that this show has
suddenly fallen apart or become unwatchable (yeah, I've heard a lot of
hate) seems crazy to me. The Walking Dead remains one of very, very few select shows that actually keeps me interested enough to watch each week as it airs (instead of binge-watching all at once), which is saying something. This is some awesome television!
Season 3 of The Walking Dead is a definite hit. The Blu-Ray treatment is excellent, and the show itself was mostly excellent, mixing some intense action with some fairly hefty drama (though that can be heavy-handed at times, admittedly). One thing about this show that always keeps me coming back is the feeling that no one is safe, and that one bad decision can lead to a catastrophic chain reaction that can't be undone. Sure, it isn't perfect, but TWD is a grim, dramatic, gripping, story-driven comic book zombie show (phew) that's certainly worth your time. Fans should unquestionably grab this release.